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Electric & Magnetic Fields Activity for Kids

Simple Motor DIY

  • Duration: 20 min
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Cost: $0 to $10

Use a magnetic field to make a simple motor!

Material List

  • 1AA Battery
  • 1Pack Neodymium Disc Magnets
  • 1Copper Wire (about 20 cm)


  • 1Stack the magnets on the negative side of the battery (flat side) and place it on the table.
  • 2Bend the copper wire into a heart shape.
  • 3Place the point of the heart on the positive end of the battery.
  • 4Adjust it so that the ends of the wire lightly touch the magnets.
  • 5Watch it spin!
  • 6Once you get the hang of it try other shapes!

How It Works

The electric current from the battery flows through the wire, generating a magnetic field. The field from the magnets interacts with the magnetic field from the wire. This applies a force on the wire which causes it to move. Scientists call this design a homopolar motor.

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